Uprising in IOK draws world attention
Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, Sikh Intellectual Circle, International Sikh Federation, Sikh Students Federation and Shromni Akali Dal leaders condemned the Indian government and security forces for committing large scale atrocities on Kashmiris. They demanded of the Indian government to acknowledge Kashmir’s right of self determination and engage in a meaningful dialogue with the Kashmiris and Pakistan. Similar sentiments have been expressed by the Dalit population of IOK, especially Jammu where Muslims are in minority. And Dalits support is crucial to make Muslims a majority in Jammu. Minorities have exerted pressure on the Indian government both domestically and internationally, as a large number of Sikhs reside abroad and have effective organizations in the West. Of course, Sikhs are using the Kashmir uprising to give vent to their anti-Indian sentiment and grievances against the state, especially in Punjab. Yet, India continues with its shenanigans.
In his address to the nation on 15th August India’s independence day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about the situation in Balochistan, and latter urged Indian diplomats and media to highlight this issue in world capitals. Pakistani officials said the Indian prime minister was trying to cover up the atrocities committed by Indian security forces in occupied Kashmir by equating the situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) with Balochistan, which is not a disputed territory. They pointed out that Kashmir was an internationally recognised dispute and there were UN resolutions supporting the right of self-determination for Kashmiris, whereby they can join India or Pakistan through a plebiscite under the aegis of the United Nations. Last month, Bangladesh and former Afghan president Hamid Karzai supported the Indian position, encouraging Modi to continue his campaign against Pakistan. This shows the India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh nexus.
The United States has unambiguously distanced itself from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attempt to internationalise the Baloch issue and in the process has also assured Pakistan of its continued support to the country’s territorial integrity. “The US government respects the unity and territorial integrity of Pakistan and we do not support independence for Balochistan,” US State Department spokesman John Kirby told a recent news briefing in Washington. The Baloch issue came up at the State Department’s regular news briefing during the Eid holidays, when an Indian journalist asked Mr. Kirby to explain the official US policy on “human rights violations and the fight for freedom” in Balochistan. The US position on Balochistan is a clear setback for New Delhi, which plans to use the UN General Assembly in New York next week to stop Pakistan from raising the current situation in India-held Kashmir.
India has been accusing Pakistan of helping Kashmiri freedom fighters through non-state actors. But during the current uprising, the entire world acknowledges that it is the genuine struggle of the people of Kashmir, and nobody buys India’s argument that Pakistan is behind this uprising. Even the critics of Pakistan military and its agencies like Pervez Hoodbhoy in a talk show of a TV channel admitted:”Kashmiris are waging struggle without any help from outside…People of India wish to have good relations with Pakistan, and efforts should be made to increase people to people contact.” But it is not true. The popular public goodwill in India is just a fiction that is chanted liltingly in those Indo-Pak seminars held in five-star hotel. On the ground in India, it exists not. It is all antipathy for Pakistan that pervades the Indian streets, public halls, political offices, media houses and official corridors.
Indian hatred and animosity against the Kashmiri Muslims is deep-seated, and its reflections can clearly be seen through Indian repressive tactics including torture, extra-judicial killings, rape and fake encounters by Indian Security Forces in IOK that continue unabated. The aim is to deter Kashmiri populace from demanding their right of self-determination. The repression, oppression and atrocities by Indian forces have turned Kashmir into a hell that would stretch Dante’s imagination reflected in his famous poem Divine Comedy. However, these vile acts, repression and oppression could not break the will of Kashmiris. The heroic struggle waged by the people of Kashmir is unparalleled in the history; they are committed to continue their struggle till their objective is achieved.